Things to Do in Kankakee, IL
Like any community, there are plenty of great things to do in Kankakee, IL. Sometimes these events, attractions and restaurants are well known, while other times it takes a well-trained eye or local guide to introduce you to them. If you are looking for more variety, the more populous cities in Illinois are certain to accommodate your desires of activities.
Kankakee is the only city in the world where you'll find two Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes side-by-side. Both homes have been privately owned and off limits to tourists – until now.
The 142-year-old City Tavern in Kankakee is the most beautiful bar south of Chicago. Not only does the building retain its original woodwork and tin ceiling, but it also has a colorful history‚ having served as a brothel many years ago. The building can seat 400 people in both the downstairs and upstairs bar areas. The upstairs is designated non-smoking and has a separate air filtration system. This area is open on Friday and Saturday nights and for private parties and special events like Cinco de Mayo.
Famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed two Kankakee homes that were both constructed in 1900 – Hickox House and the B. Harley Bradley House. In 2012, both remain showplaces next door to each other on South Harrison Avenue in the Riverview Historic District.
Residents will find a wide variety of recreation options in the Kankakee River Valley, ranging from biking, hiking and horseback riding to just relaxing as they watch the NFL's Chicago Bears train each summer at Olivet Nazarene University. Here are just a few fun things to do in the Kankakee River Valley:
For 80 years‚ boat racers and spectators have descended on Kankakee County for the Kankakee River Valley Regatta. The only trouble‚ organizers found‚ was the name. The race is not a genteel competition‚ with sailors navigating the waters powered only by Mother Nature’s fickle breeze. No‚ this race is about horsepower‚ and plenty of it. In 2006‚ event organizers changed the title to the Powerboat National Championships‚ alerting all that speeds must be measured by stopwatches‚ not sundials.
Whether stepping on the ice at the OAK Orthopedic Sports Arena or swimming at Splash Valley Aquatic Park‚ playing ball at a Kankakee Valley Parks' ball field or checking out Exploration Station children's museum, families find plenty of action in the Valley. OAK Orthopedic Sports Arena offers hockey and skating classes and leagues. It also houses the Kankakee Community College Fitness Center. Splash Valley Aquatic Park boasts three water slides, a four-lane lap pool‚ two zero-depth entry pools, plus picnic pavilions and a sand play area.
Kankakee County is home to some delicious Southern cooking, even though Kankakee is in the northern half of the United States. Three popular Southern-style restaurants in the county are Savannah’s Southern Bistro, Jimmy Jo’s BBQ, and Bulls Pit BBQ & 5 Star Wings.Savannah’s Southern BistroHere’s a salute to Savannah’s, which is owned by two National Guard officers. Frank Hayden and Mark Ray not only operate the restaurant but are soldiers who served in Iraq and are currently in the Illinois National Guard.
Looking for a good reason to settle down in Kankakee County? The people who live here can give you a hundred. “I’m in love with this place. It’s everything we wanted it to be and more‚” says Susan Crisp‚ who moved to Kankakee County from Chattanooga‚ Tenn. in February 2007 to become the director of Camp Shaw-Waw-Nas-See in Manteno. Her husband‚ Jason Robertson‚ and four-year-old son‚ Gabriel‚ came with her.
Kankakee has a variety of shopping destinations to choose from. Below is a listing of some of the stores available here. Appliances